Saudi cleric apologizes for ‘intolerant’ views of Sahwa movement

Ayed Al-Qarni appeared on a Ramadan TV show to apologize for the Saudi Sahwa movement. (Screengrab)
Updated 08 May 2019
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Saudi cleric apologizes for ‘intolerant’ views of Sahwa movement

  • Ayed Al-Qarni regrets fatwas which contradicted moderate reality of Islam
  • Al-Qarni says Qatar plays a role in attracting radical clerics

RIYADH: A prominent figure in the Islamic Awakening (Sahwa) movement has apologized to Saudi Arabia for what he described as its offenses against Islam.

“I am today supportive of the moderate Islam, open to the world, which has been called for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the Saudi cleric, scholar and author Ayed Al-Qarni said.

“We invite the world to come over ... our religion was sent as a mercy and safety to mankind,” he said during a Ramadan show on the Rotana Khalijia channel. “In the name of Al-Sahwa, I apologize to Saudi society for the mistakes that have contradicted the Qur’an and Sunnah, and contradicted the tolerance of Islam, a moderate religion.”

FASTFACT

Sahwa movement

The Sahwa movement was a faction of Saudi Qutbism - An Islamist ideologydeveloped by Sayyed Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood

The Sahwa movement, which peaked in the 1990s, was a faction of Saudi Qutbism — an Islamist ideology developed by Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was led by a number of hate preachers including Safar Al-Hawali and Salman Al-Ouda. The movement’s origins stem from when Muslim Brotherhood members fled prosecution in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s, and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia. 

They demanded a bigger role for clergy in governing and a more conservative society as a defense against Western cultural influences. They also opposed the presence of US troops on “Muslim land.” In the same TV interview, Al-Qarni also spoke of Qatar’s role in luring Sahwa clerics.

“The further away you are from our country (Saudi Arabia), the more they (Qataris) like you... and give money, villas for those who oppose Saudi Arabia,” he said.

In an Arab News special series we focus on the "Preachers of Hate" who preach messages of 

In a series that exposes the purveyors of hate, Arab News exposes the people, the movements and their ideologies. “Preachers of Hate” looks at movements such as the Sahwa movement, which was was a faction of Saudi Qutbism - an Islamist ideologydeveloped by Sayyed Qutb.

Read more: Now read about other preachers of hate


Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s 1st flight celebrated

Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani. (GACA)
Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s 1st flight celebrated

  • Yasmeen Al-Maimani has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), represented by the management of Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines, celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani, 29, on Sunday.
Al-Maimani made her first official flight between Hail International Airport and Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Qassim, becoming the first Saudi woman to fly a commercial aircraft as a co-pilot with Nesma Airlines.
She received the opportunity after the airline advertised vacant positions for co-pilots on its New Pilots Program — 11 were accepted, including Al-Maimani, who has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US.
Following their acceptance into the program, the pilots underwent a four-stage training regimen at Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah, including practice on multi-engine planes with multiple crews.
Ground training using an ATR 72-600 aircraft at Nesma Airlines’ training center in Hail followed, before progressing to simulators in Jakarta and Madrid.